By Tina Dubois
Price: $99.00 USD
Width: Average to Wide
Sole Thickness: Forefoot = ~5 mm, Heel = ~7 mm
Drop: ~2 mm
Weight: 7 oz or 200 grams (plus ½ oz or 14 grams with insole)
Sizing: 6–11, available in full and half sizes, fits true to size
Overview – An attractive, comfortable, casual leather sandal
As a minimalist shoe reviewer, it is wonderful when we’re given the opportunity to review multiple products from the same manufacturer and extremely validating when the shoes improve over time. This is the case with Jambu products. The first Jambu shoe Living Barefoot reviewed was the Barefoot Vegan and I found it to be somewhat narrow in design and included a truly non-minimalist insole. The latest Jambu shoe provided for review has a much wider, more comfortable fit and the insole design has been updated and improved as well. The result is that the Jambu Bath-Barefoot is an attractive and comfortable leather casual sandal fit for any spring or summer urban adventure.
Comfort & Fit
The Jambu Bath-Barefoot has proven to be extremely comfortable for me. The forefoot is wide enough to accommodate my average to wide width feet and the elastic lock-lace allows for a personal fit. The leather is very soft against the skin and despite the strappy design, I find the edges of the straps smooth and not binding in any way. They fit true to size and are available in a wide range of sizes from 6 through 11 in full and half sizes.
The memory foam insole provides a little bit of cushion, if desired, and if not desired is easily removed as it is held in place with a bit of round Velcro at the heel. The insole itself is mostly flat, however, the Velcro attachment does add some height at the heel. If you prefer the insole attached but do not want the added height, the Velcro is attached to the insole with a single stitch and can be easily removed with a little scissor effort. I prefer the shoe without the insole at all, and the footbed is perfectly comfortable without it.
Barefoot Feel & Function
The ground feel of the Bath-Barefoot is not the greatest compared to some of the truly minimal sandals we’ve reviewed (for example, the Invisible Shoe Huaraches) because the combination rice husk and natural rubber outsole is a bit thick and stiff. There is some ground feel at the fore- and mid-foot, despite being thick, as the outsole is quite flexible in these areas. There is no ground feel at the heel, as this area of the outsole is particularly dense, but this aspect of the design will provide better durability as most people land with a heel-strike while walking.
The heel has a very small rise from the forefoot, probably of 2 mm, which won’t bother most people but I can feel the difference in forefoot and heel height as I’m particularly sensitive to it. Although I did notice the difference, it didn’t affect my gait enough to be overly distracting.
The Bath-Barefoot is a little heavier than most of the minimal shoes we’ve reviewed and while wearing, did feel a bit heavy for a summer shoe. Most of the weight is in the outsole with a little more weight in the heel area than the rest of the shoe. Again, it was noticeable, but not overly distracting.
There is more than adequate grip in the design of the outsole for any urban adventure and any dry, light trail you might want to explore this spring and summer.
The upper is made of a 3 mm thick, colored burnished leather on the outside and a much thinner, softer, 1 mm leather on the inside stitched together with a soft, inlaid thread. The footbed is a woven cotton fabric overtop of the outsole, with no added cushioning in between. The heel area has a closer-knit cotton on top for the Velcro attachment in the heel of the removable outsole to attach to. The stitching is flat throughout the inside of the shoe and the seams are not noticeable to my skin. I found that this shoe needed no break-in period and was comfortable right out of the box.
The strappy design provides plenty of breathability for hot summer excursions. If they get a little dirty, a damp cloth should easily clean them up quickly. As this is a leather product, you could protect them with a leather shoe protector for longer durability but I didn’t find the need as this will primarily be a fair weather sandal for me.
The outsole is made of a blend of rice husks and natural rubber stated by the manufacturer to be eco-friendly and sustainable. The attractive grip design is 3 mm in depth and the outsole approximately 2 mm for a total of 5 mm at the forefoot. The heel area feels a little bit thicker for an approximate thickness of 7 mm. The fore- and midfoot area is quite flexible where the heel is not. There is no arch support included in the design of the Bath-Barefoot.
The quality of the materials and manufacturing appear excellent. There were no defects in the pair provided for review. I anticipate this sandal lasting a long time while maintaining its attractive appearance.
The Jambu Bath-Barefoot is probably the most attractive minimalist sandal I’ve reviewed to date. The burnished leather, gladiator-style exterior is lovely and the contrast stitching adds beautiful detail. There is even a handy heel tab to help slide it on. The elastic lock-lace does not detract from the attractive design and allows for a personal fit that helps the shoe stay in place nicely without being binding. The sandal is available in three colors: black, sage, and taupe.
The Bath-Barefoot is an attractive, leather sandal perfect for any casual spring or summer urban adventure. They will nicely compliment any casual outfit from jeans, capris, shorts, or skirts. As they look a little dressier than most of the minimal sandals I’ve reviewed, they will be my summer shoes for fancier outfits this season. Probably not appropriate for formal occasions but they do look very stylish for a casual sandal.
Priced at $99 on most online purchase websites, the Bath-Barefoot is priced at the top end of the leather sandal products on the market. They are more expensive than most minimal sandals as well but they are going to last a long time while maintaining their attractive appearance if treated well. There are few attractive minimal sandal options on the market for women so it depends how much you want to pay for the added style.
The Jambu Bath-Barefoot sandal is an attractive leather sandal stylish enough to compliment any casual spring or summer outfit for urban adventures. They are wide enough to accommodate an average to wide foot with a simple, elastic lock-lace for personal fit. The strappy, gladiator-style design is surprisingly comfortable with a soft leather interior. The removable memory-foam insole is flat and adds a little bit of cushiony comfort for those who want it and is easily detached for those who do not with a comfortable footbed even without. The blend of rice husk and natural rubber outsole is extremely grippy with an attractive design. There is some flexibility in the fore- and midfoot but very little in the slightly raised heel. Although the ground feel is not the greatest for a minimalist footwear product, they are quite stylish for a women’s sandal filling a niche in the sparsely populated corner of the minimalist market. Priced at $99, some may find it a little expensive. For more information about the Jambu Bath-Barefoot, you can check out the product website here and for more women’s minimalist Jambu styles you can check out their Bare Feet Designs page.
As you read our reviews, please keep in mind that our reviewers review shoes in terms of their suitability for those looking to find the highest quality minimalist shoe products. All reviews are as factual as possible. In an effort to be transparent and ethical, we will point out any defects found, even if these do not affect the usability of the product. Not all defects will be present in final production shoes as we are sometimes offered “seconds” or pre-release products in an effort to provide you with reviews in a timely manor. In the event that serious issues are found with a review sample we will give every opportunity for the manufacturer to replace to explain the review samples before the final review is released. We never accept payments for reviews. We do not guarantee a good review for any products sent to us. We do not review products that do not claim to be minimalist or “barefoot like” unless we receive a significant number of requests from readers or listeners.
Should you have any questions about our review process or would like your product reviewed on our site, please do not hesitate to contact us using our contact page.
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